tv Opioid Epidemic and Mail System Vulnerabilties CSPAN January 26, 2018 2:24pm-5:05pm EST
>>. [inaudible conversation] tonight on our companion network c-span, president trumps addressed to the world economic forum. he's the first sitting economic president to speak up for them since president clinton. tonight at the eastern on our companion network, c-span. >> thepresident of the united states . [applause] >> tuesday night, president donald trump gives his first state of the union address to congress and the nation. join c-span for a review starting at the eastern and then the state of the union speech live at 9 pm . following the speech the democratic response. we will hear your reaction and comments from members of
congress. president trumps date of the union address, tuesday at five on c-span. live on the free c-span radio and alive on your tablet at c-span.org.the senate permanent subcommittee on investigation held a hearing yesterday on how drug traffickers get opioid and other drugs through the us postal system.witnesses at the hearing from work from the state department and border protection, drug enforcement administration and immigration and customs enforcement. >>. >> this hearing will come to order. thank you all for being here. today's hearing continues the permit subcommittee on investigations work to combat the opioid epidemic that is ripping our communities
across the country. the last congress subcommittee issued a bipartisan report on opioid -related fraud and abuse in the medicare part b program . this congress committee held a hearing on the growing problem of individuals by illicit opioids over the internet and shipping them to the united states through the mail. the opioid crisis sadly continues to get worse, not better. last month the center for , disease control reported more than 63,000 americans died in 2016 from drug overdoses. that number increased in 2017 . these overdose deaths were shocking. the number of deaths continue to grow, my own home state of ohio we were told recently is now second in the country in terms of overdose deaths . it's heartbreaking and increasingly, these overdoses are due to a synthetic
heroine, illegal versions of fentanyl, a drug that is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroine. in ohio, fentanyl and its variations were involved in 60 percent of the overdose deaths last year. so it's become the number one killer in ohio. >> the vast majority of illegal fentanyl is purchased online.in last in china and shipped to the united states through the mail. we edwill hear from the drug enforcement agency about that. but i think it's shocking to people when they find out this is coming to through our us mail system. last night the subcommittee released its bipartisan report, on how criminals exploit vulnerabilities international mail and use the u.s. postal service to ship opioids into our country. without objection, i would lose the subcommittee's report be read into the
record. after our initial 2017 hearing, we set out to find out how easy it is to purchase fentanyl online.y and how it was shipped to the united states. what we discovered course was the shockingly easy to do so. all you had to do was search fentanyl for sale. that's simple search return hundreds of websites affiliated with chinese labs all openly advertising illegal drugs. the field was narrowed to six websites and we sent emails asking basic questions about how to purchase and ship fentanyl. these online sellers were quick to respond, unafraid of getting caught apparently and r ready to make a deal. you will see that in the report. they offer discounts for all purchases, even try to upsell us to a more powerful synthetic heroine that is so strong is used as an elephant tranquilizer. ordering these drugs was easy as buying any other product. i must note our subcommittee
never completed the purchase of drugs online.it was too dangerous to riskexposing someone to delay fentanyl during delivery. we used the online sellers payment information to determine if others were buying . and of course we found out they were, just from these websites alone,they identify more than 500 payments , of all my sailors by more than 300 americans. totaling $230,000, most of which occurred over the last two years. though this is just a small, only six websites and frankly use just one payment system to be able to identify some of these buyers. the 300 people by way were located in 43 different states with individuals in my home state of ohio, pennsylvania and florida . the map we have back here behind us shows the concentration of where most purchases were made.
that's also in the report. we also asked how the online sellers would ship the drawings to us. every single sone of them referred to use the u.s. postal service. they didn't want to use the private carriers like dhl, fedex, ups, they wanted to use the postal service. they told us they use the postal service because the chances of the drugs getting seized were so insignificant thatdelivery was essentially guaranteed . we were also able to track hundreds of packages related to these online purchases. we identified seven people out of the 300 who died in fentanyl related overdoses after sending money to and receiving packages on the sellers. when these individuals who died was a 49-year-old ohio and in cleveland who had about 2500 bucks and a seller received 15 packages through the postal service over a 10 month period. we confirmed that he died from acute intoxication weeks
after he omreceived a package from this online seller. by analyzing more than 2 million lines of shipment data obtained in our investigation, we located three individuals who are likely disturbing these drugs. we identified more than 120 from people spending a payment to online sellers in china and a day or two later receiving a passage from one single address. the person at this address by the way was working with the online seller domestically transshipment purchases. shipping data review during the course of the investigation indicated other individuals who purchase items to make bills including chemical bonding agents and fellow casings. not t surprising that people ordering fentanyl online themselves. the profit margins are staggering. based on dea estimates, the street value of the online transactions just to six websites, the subcommittee investigated translates to about $760 million in fentanyl pills in our
communities. >> we are working with law enforcement authorities to make sure the dealers can be brought to justice will continue to do so after this hearing. but our findings today show the crucial role advanced electronic data can play in protecting our country and fighting theopioid epidemic . we also need some legislative changes. last year the postal service received advanced electronic data on 36 percent of the more than 498 million international packages coming into our country. so about 500 million packages a year and only about 36 percent have the advanced electronic data that allows law enforcement to identify these suspicious packages. this means 318 million international packages came here with nodata , therefore no abilityfor customs and border protection . law enforcement targeted these packages for screening.
we didn't know with regard to 318 million packages, in the senate where it was going. and this is a massive loophole that's undermining safety and security of our country. in addition, the data we get from the foreign post that we reviewed during our investigation appears to be of questionable quality. it's only 36 percent but even much of that data is not helpful. times the data was nothing more than lines of letters and characters entered by someone who didn't understand how to construct an address. even when the customs and border protection have the data, the postal service failed to locate it, about 20 percent of the time. >> so again, i, 36 percent, much of that data is not helpful. and even when law enforcement says we've got a package that looks like it suspicious, we'd like to look at it, 20 percent of the time we can't find the package. it gets through. >> what we are left with as
thefederal government's policies and procedures are wholly inadequate . without the use of international mail, shifting legal synthetic opioids into the united states. in contrast, are postal service revised data on about 90 percent of the packages that ships to foreign post so 90 percent of what we send out sent by electronic data to the government. >> efforts september 11, 2001, and the terrorist 1 attacks on that day, collecting advanced electronic data was identified as a national priority for all the right reasons. in 2002 in fact congress required private carriers to collect this data. that x, dhs and others were required to collect it. it was left up to the discretion of the postmaster general and treasury regarding the postalservice . they were encouraged to do it , study it, but it was left
up to their discretion and more than a dozen years nothing happened essentially, leaving customs and border protection tomanually inspect packages and finding a needle in a haystack . they announced 500 million packages and it wasn't that many. to their credit, the postal service started a pilot program in late 2015 to target suspicious packages from china using advanced electronic data. our investigation found a lack of planning, different missions of the agencies and personality conflicts hampered the success either of the pilot programs started in 2015. that pilot program by the way started at jfk where investigators were able to see that in action. despite these problems, the postal service has had a global compliance trade road allowing them to put a
positive spin on stopping opioids. while both cpd and the postal service agreed the pilot should be rolled out to all facilities, they only started back after the subcommittee held its 2017 hearing. i'm glad they did it. i'm glad they had the sense to do it. we learn this process was completed in advance of this hearing so earlier this week, i think this hearing probably motivated action which is good. but it should have been a priority without having to hold this hearing. it shouldn't take a congressional investigation into the postal service and what's happening with international mail will get our government to do its job. one part of the solution is more data. that's why we've introduced a synthetic trafficking and overdose prevention act which would require the advanced electronic data on international packages shipped to the postal services. currently we have 29
cosponsors from both sides of the aisle and i know this hearing will put pressure on us in the senate to take action. >> i want to thank senator carter and his staff were working with us so closely on this investigation. there's a lot more to be done to turn the tide of the opioid addiction . but stopping these deadly drugs from reaching our street is a good start. as the co-author of the comprehensive recovery act i've focused most of my career over the last 20 years on prevention and treatment. longer-term recovery. that's all important. but to keep this poison from coming into our communities, is something we can't do. just in the past week in toledo ohio fiveindividuals overdosed . from fentanyl related overdoses. it's so bad officials issued an opioid advisory warning to the public begging them to stay away from what was surely a bad batch of opioids
from northwest ohio. how many more people have to die before this poison stops coming into our communities? before we take the steps, the simple steps to at least understand where the suspicion are and how to get them off-line and not delivered to a po box in america? how many people have to die before this happens? yes, the postal service is in desperate need of comprehensive reform and nobody has been more involved than senator carter but it's shocking we are still so unprepared to police the mail arriving into our country. again, i want to thank senator carter for working so closely with the chairman of the full committee who has joined us, senator johnson and i would ask if he has any remarks and i would turn it over to ranking member senatorcarter. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you for your ongoing leadership . it's about an important issue facing our nation.
i like to be joined by our full committee chairman today too. i want to thank our staff, democrat and republican for their good discussion about how we don't work together on this issue. >> and there's no space between us on this issue and frankly on a lot of others. >> i think our witnesses for joining us today for the work that you do and the work done by the people and your colleagues . an oversight hearing, this results in an investigation. a big part of our job is oversight. this is oversight and investigation on something that we all care deeply m about. >> no state has been immune to the damage that these drugs have caused. including my home state of ohio, navy rochester, you'd think it was a town north of columbus but turned out to be a whole state and i've been fortunate to be able to represent them for a while but whether it's ohio or the state, it's an enormous
challenge that we face and it all ends.it's all hands on deck. it requires and all of the above strategy. it's not enough to deal with the symptoms of the problems. where we talk a little bit about that, a lot of that today but also the root cause of these problems, you got to get them both. according to the division of forensic science in my state, more delaware indians are dying from overdose each year. 2014 we lost 122 people. 2015 we lost 228 people. 2016 we lost 308 people. they're not just numbers, they are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and grandparents, this last month it was reported emergency responders in our largest county only had three, the largest county where my wife and i live, new castle county we were dispatched toa overdose every 80 minutes . by early november of last
year, paramedics administered naloxone, john drug that can block the adverse effects of c an opioid overdose to nearly 600 patients. opioids are now the leading cost of debts killing 4032 people nationwide. last year our subcommittee set out to learn what the federal government is doing to stop these drugs entering our country. may, we heard testimony from officials from the posterior service, state department and several experts and first responders on the ground in ohio. delaware and elsewhere, grapple every day with the impact opioids are having on our communities. they told us how opioids are getting into our communities through the mail and how they are working together to stop it. unfortunately i left that hearing concerned that the
response was proven to be insufficient. our investigations show progress has been made but also that we have much, much more to do. in fact, the findings are alarming. we found that fentanyl and other stronger synthetic opioids are available for sale at the chairman said on the internet, especially for anyone who knows how to shop online. purchase, these drugs arrive in early from china through the international mail system g . sellers often prefer the postal service, they often offer's shipment through private carriers like dhl and ubs. through our work we obtained key payments and shipping to a that enable staff rank online sellers in fentanyl related deaths. drug-related arrests were even found what appears to be a major opioid distributor in pennsylvania where delaware indians get most of their from. >> it's tvp's mission in partnership with the postal service and fight shippers to
keep these drugs from entering our country. that mission has unfortunately become increasingly more difficult as the number of inbound international packages have skyrocketed. i like to say the german mentioned needle in a haystack. when you have eda needle in, what makes the needle bigger is make the haystacks smaller. we need to do both of those. but the postal service alone volume has double. going from 150 million pieces in fiscal 2013 to nearly 500 million and counting in the calendar year 2017. so recently cvt was forced to sit through this massive number of packages from the postal service manually. >> today automation and the use of advanced electronic data has improved the targeting of packages that may contain illicit items but the process is far from efficient. our investigation revealed that a 2015 joint postal service cdp pilot project
adjacent to jfk airport suffered through the agencies getting missions, the lack of coordination, interagency conflicts. as a result the full expansion to our four other processing sensors was delayed until just this week. in addition despite the massive amounts of drugs coming into our country through the mail, the postal service and cdp targeted a small number each day. meanwhile, as our work points out, our efforts to get cdp needs to better target suspicious mail items and intercept opioids and other contraband has often not kept pace with the volume of drugs crossing our borders. unlike private carriers who control which packages enter their network and have more freedom to turn away problem customers, the postal service is required to deliver all the mail it receives . this is due to our country's membership in the universal postal union for upu and
international body excess global mailing standards ensure that americans can mail their friends and family, business partners overseas. >> the data department represents the us add study upu proceedings while the postal service has made some progress in obtaining information on packages through bilateral agreements with the post. the state department has watch for more than a decade as some of our orders have successfully efforts requiring more information on international packaging. it is urgent the postal service and cdp work together to continue wrapping up their targeting and inspection efforts and that the postal service and state department speed up international efforts to get cdp the data that needs. >> at the same time those of us in congress need to ensure the postal service has the resources it needs to be a stronger partner. >> as my colleagues are aware, protecting an important country has been
one of my priorities on this committee. nthe postal service is vital to our economy, as i worked a straight plays an important role in our fight against enemy as well faces insolvency and it is not as comprehensive reform this year. the enactment of this legislation will free up dollars to the postal service to use and not only invest for the future but provide also to shore up security. >> all that said, if we only spoke in vocational drug shipments after they entered our mail system, we will only address the symptoms of the problem. we also need to focus on what i described as the root causes. we can do that we must address our countries considerable demand. as we know, healthcare plays f a vital role in writing fiction that drives medicaid as this country's single largest substance abuse disorder of services. many state with the highest opioid overdose of debts extend treatment access, -1,
ohio is another. we need to focus on making sure that our health care system as the resources it needs to provide quality treatment for those suffering from this epidemic. and as we consider the root causes, it's clear that we also need to engage with china, the biggest source of illicit opioids in our country in order to successfully disrupt the supply of fentanyl. >> if we did something like this during the obama administration for high-level dialogue on the success of bilateral, bilateral partnership, the administration should commit at higher levels to an effort to tackle this urgent public health crisis. with that in mind, our ambassador to china'sformer governor , to gauge the level of engagement at our embassy
and china towards working with the chinese to say this is a problem, not just a problem for us but a problem for you and you need to get your act together to help us and ultimately so we can help you guys. remind me of the importance of leadership in addressing complex challenges like the ones we are facing today. no single politician can solve this problem and none of the agencies represented can do it alone. we need leadership from the top. last month the president established a study in the opioid epidemic in determining how to officially declare the crisis a public health emergency. despite these high profile moves, news reports suggest only a couple of the commissions 56 recommendations had reportedly been implemented, we can do better. further, the office of national drug control policy is charged with coordinating the federal government counter drug response still does not have a permanent directive, i'll say that again. still does not have a permanent director.
recent media reports indicate that the president's upcoming budget will again proposed a 90 percent cut in the budget of the office of national drug coalition. on a day when we are going to be critical of frontline agency for what appears to be a lack of focus it seems there's urgency about real prices, it's only fair that it falls on the president to to make the crisis the priority it should be. we have something in delaware recalled the sweet meat. communicate, compromise, collaborate. that's something in short supply. we need to embrace something like the two or three visa as we fight this epidemic. one of those is to communicate and we are doing that here today. the other is to collaborate. a little bit of civility. if we do that we will make progress and we certainly need to make that progress. >> again, i'll close by
saying it's an all hands on deck moment. this is an all of the above strategy. and as best strategies, as well as we do we always know we can do better. we can do better here and we need to in the spirit of cooperation.thank you for yourleadership. >> thank you senator carver. you mentioned the commission on opioids and the recommendations . one of the recommendations was the stock back that we talked about to inquire this electronic data in advance. two of my colleagues if you have a brief opening statement, thank you for being here. >> just thank you for your leadership on this. my own nephew died of an overdose in january 2016. it's probably gotten to the point where there's few ba americans that haven't been ew
touched in a personal way, someone who's died of some kind of overdose. it's a very complex problem. i want to thank you and your staff. you've done an excellent job preparing this briefing. i want to thank the witnesses for your service to this country. it is complex. one of the things we need to do in addition to what you are proposing here is greater information. i have a bill, fentanyl analogs, that's one of the real problems. drooling these differences in terms of analog drugs. there's so many things we need to address here but it starts with identifying the problem, defining and highlighting ghhearings like this. i want to thank everybody involved. it's not easy these are tragedies that again, we all have far too many parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters who watched their beautiful sons and daughters , grandsons and brothers and sisters so we got to do
everything we can. th>> thank you for your passionate leadership. again, to the panel, thank you for being here. we will now turn to you. we got real expertise here and real public service talk through this issue and figure out how we begin to stop this poison coming in. the first witnesses joseph herbie, we for international postal policy issues, and the us delegations to the meetings of the universal postal unions coastal cooperation council. we spoke about previously. mister murphy served for three years as us permanent representative in nairobi. robert cintron is with us, he was named vice president of work operations in april 2016. and in this position he oversees the postal services distribution network including overall network design policies and programs.
they are required to move the needle and get this policy of rent that support network. mister shifrin began 33 years ago as a clerk in rochester. third we have to owens who is the assistant commissioner office of field operations customs support and protection. he was named to that position in 2015 and oversees more than 29,000 employees including more than 24,000 ppv officers and cvb agriculture specialist. he manages operations for the point of entry and numerous programs that support national security. mister olin began his career with the customs service in 1990 and import specialist in ohio. >> william sieber is with us, he currently serves as the acting deputy inspector general for the postal services office of inspector general. he joins the inspector general's office in 2003. previously served in both the united states secret service and an air force office of special investigations as a special agent. >> daniel baldwin, currently
serves as section g within the drug enforcement administration office of global enforcement and in this role he supports the ea's global drugenforcement efforts in africa and asia prior to his this time he served as the countryaffect a in beijing . so he has good experience in china . and 1991 he received a supreme criminal justice from the university of denver. finally, craig ralph anna is with us. he served as the deputy assistant director for the illicit trade travel and finance division within all land security investigation, hsi. he has overseen all financial narcotics and fraud criminal data exploitation with several targeting two centers. at this time mister navarro served as chief of staff for the deputy director of us immigration justin's customs enforcement site and has served in various positions
agency. >> gentlemen, under the rules of this committee we swear in all our witnesses and i have to do we stand and raise your right hand. >>. >> you swear to tell the testimony you give before this committee is true, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. the gentleman we placed in the record in its entirety, i would ask you to limit your oral testimony to five minutes. mister murphy, we will start with you. >>. >> thank you sir. >> german 14, ranking member, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to appear today to discuss our efforts to increase the availability of advanced electronic data for international mailings. universal postal union is a principal international venue or the apartment of state
charges its responsibilities related to international postal policy. my remarks will center on efforts underway within that body to expand the exchange. >> these efforts have a long history. the key moment of which was the decision used in the 2012 congress to amend the convention to require countries in the designated postal soperator to adopt and implement security strategies that include the principles and claims requirements for requiring electronic data. developing implementation measures for this amendment has been a top priority for us delegations ever since. our efforts which include many hours of work by colleagues and in usps and the department of homeland security are now bearing fruit and or have been rapid progress. in february 2016, ups postal operations council adopted regulations for the 2012 convention amendment and also a roadmap for the implementation of those regulations. the united states cochairs
oversees much of the work prior to reach these roadmaps milestones. these milestones include final adoption of the technical messaging standards for data and the poc metrics goal was approved and item attribute standard and its most recent meeting and last october. in combination, these two regulation and standard enable you member countries to impose requirements or 80. uv members must do so however in a manner that is consistent with the real-world capability of the global postal network accordingly the focus is now on building capacity. at the global level this entails filling out other members . this work is progressing well but when we have utility, operators develop the capability to collect the data and use the tools available. needed investment in skills and technology is happening. and it's been greatly accelerated by a sea change in attitude among the membership. which has come to understand
that aed and other related data management mutations tools are essential to the future of the postal sector. members have endorsed several initiatives and positioning operators in developing countries. for example, over half of the upu's development cooperation budget for the 20 17th 2020 period is devoted to a project that aims to make postal services in developing countries operationally ready for e-commerce. this project has as one of its key performance indicators the goal of supporting 80 postal s operators with exchanging aed for some portion of their blow by the end of 2020. in addition upu is implementing a second project focused narrowly on security with an emphasis on capturing and transmitting aed. participants in this project all developing countries are self-funded with money that was held in trust by the upu. the integrated plot plan, the most recent upu adopted in october 2016 with strong us
support will also help accelerate aed exchange. the goal is to modernize the product offerings. >> can i ask a favor? i'm not very good on brennan's. >> asked, don't use any acronyms. >> yes, sir. >> is an admonition for everybody else as well. >> what's? >> within your five minutes. >> universal postal union. the integrated, can i use upu? okay. the integrated product plans goal is to modernize the product offerings to better meet the changing needs of customers in supply chain partners. including customs authorities. is one which commences acceptable until six the change of aed, since one of its advanced electronic provisions is the requirement for mail items to continue to
have a upu standard code label. important work is being done but there's more to do as senator carper mentioned in his opening statement. although the upu as the stated goal of having all postal services with the ability to exchange data by the end of 2020, there's a difference between the technical ability to exchange data and the real-life ability to collect. >> there are manychallenges . >> .. >> .. ly exchange the full range of aedy is a ongoing term undertaking we're cost by 2020 we'll be receiving aed for most mail entering the country. thank you, mr. chairman, i look forward to answering questions. >> thank you, mr. cintron. >> good morning, chairman portman, ranking member carper and members of the subcommittee. thank you, chairman portman for calling this hearing. i'm robert cintron, the
i'm the vice president of network operations for the united states postal service. i oversee the national distribution network, including operations at the international service centers known at ise. last may i testified before the subcommittee on the effort combat opioid in the to mail, high lighting collection and recede of electronic data known at aed. we are committed to aggressively and increasing aed for pathages coming into the united states in order to improve the targeting of elicit drugs and other contraban. the past three years the postal service has bon from receiving almost know aed on inbound shipments to receiving more than 40% as of december 2017. we're now testing data that well allow to us target more package volume from china. this data will result in a significant increase in the amount of aed the postal service receives by the end of 2018.
since january 2017, the number of countries sending aed to the postal service as grown from 8 to 23 and includes china and other countries of interest. we have pry orized obtaining aed from the largest volume important postal operators which account for over 90% of all inbound volume. we now require aed on packages where rates of established anywhere bilaterally negotiated arrangements. we currently have bilateral agreements in place with postal operators in all, canada, china, hong kong, and korea. additionally, other foreign posts have entered into voluntary data sharing agreements to facilitate the exchange of aed, bringing the total to 56 countries. while the postal service and cbp have distinct responsibilities these responsibilities compliment our shared goal of
fighting the import addition of sin athletic edoids. in -- synthetic opioids. we are solidifying our partnership and the program initiated at the new york isc to use inpound aed to facility date more advanced targeting by cbp has been expanded to all ises. over the last six months the postal service has provided hundreds of thousands of recordber day to cbp and expand the number of countries and types of packages available for targeting. we have also implemented an automated process to identify targeted pieces requested by cbp. additionally, we provided further training for isc employees to reinforce proper processes for handling and presenting male in accord danance with cbp requirements. as the postal service continues to advance mail sorting technology, these successes will
grow. to further improve the federal government's coordination of oversight over inbound international items the postal service, cbp and the fda formalize an interagency work group. the group is working on efforts to build capacity to provide aed. developed detection technology, continue information sharing, provide technical assistance for legislation, and improve physical and i.t. infrastructure. we work two close collaboration with law enforcement branch, the inspection service which has seen significant improvements in its able to seize fentanyl and synthetic opioids. from fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2017 the inspection service achieved a 375% increase in international parcels seizures and an 880% increase in
domestic parcel seizures related to opioids. in conclusion, we share your concerns about illegal drugs and contraband entering the country through the mail and commercial carriers. the postal service is committed to taking all practical measures to ensure our nation's mail security and provide the american public the best, most efficient service possible. again, thank you for this opportunity to testify, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. cintron. mr. sterling. >> chairman portman, ranking member carper, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the role of u.s. customs and border protection in combating the flow of dangerous elicit drugs into the country. as the unified border security agency of the united states, cbp plays a critical role in the nation's efforts to keep dangerous drugs from entering our communities. cbp interdicts drugs, by
leveraging advanced electronic data, automated targeting systems and intelligence driven starts and various types of detection technology, are as part of our risk are based approach. since i last appeared before the full commit committee in april of 2016. cbp, working with the postal service and law enforcement partners has head strong progress and enhancing enforcement okayables and effectiveness international mail and express courier environments but more must be done. recent bilateral agreements regarding advanced electronic data between the u.s. postal service and foreign postal operates you're increased our ability to target high risk. shes. in april of 2016 we were receiving advanced electronic data from only eight countries. today we're receiving dat from 23 countries and another six countries in testing, currently cbp receives information on
goods and work tonights to increase the volume and accuracy of the aed provided to the postal service. as the chairman aned, cbp has initiated pilot programs in the file mail gatewaysle through the pilots we enhanced our automated targeting capabilities and worked with the postal service to develop protocols to ensure that every shipment selected by cbp is present for inspection. last summer we signed a maybe rem of understanding aligning the inspection processes. in the past year, cbp increased staffing the six main international mail facilities by to% and all cbp narcotic detection k-9s he signed to mail facilities and airways have now been trained to detect fentanyl, adding another detection capability. once detected these substance must be positively identified.
in the past 18 months cbp has deployed identification testing equipment so officers can quickly determine what the unknown substances are. the average fentanyl seizure in the international mail environment is 700-grams and arriveds as an unknown powder. officers must have the technology enabling them to quickly and safely identify the unknown substances. cbp increased the availability of such testing equipment and is appreciative to conditioning for the recently passed interdict act which will allow to us ace testing equipment and strengthen our enforcement efforts. the mail and express courier environments the fentanyl detected primarily arrives from china and is over 90% pure. cbp has personal protective equipment to safely inspect and process narcotics. we have also deployed narcan to the ports of entry to if officers or k-9s are accidentally supposed to these deadly substances we can quickly administer treatments to save their livesful lastly,
substantive and timely information sharing is critical to the targeting targeting and interdicting shipments. the targeting center collaborates with critical partners day lyrics including hsi, dea, intelligence community and the postal service inspection service. these relationships are critical in deliver consequences to those trying to smuggle narcotics across the border. in closing we're seeing an increase in interdiction as result of the efforts i outlined. in fiscal year 2015cbf seize it 50 pounds of fentanyl in the international mail and expose courier environment. in 24016, 81 pounds of fentanyl were ceased, and in fiscal year 2017, 335 pounds were seized. already this fish scatted year at the large e facility as jfk airport, cbp officers made moyer fentanyl size ours in the first three and a half months than all of last year so despite the
success, more must be done therapy. need to increase the -- refine our targeting capabilities while wife, the postal service to ensure that every parcel selected for examination is presented to cbp and must find the technological solution which can examine parcels forty presence of contraband without having to open the packages and must work with law enforcement partners to identify and dismantle the criminal networks bringing these narcotics into the communities and ensure criminal prosecution. chairman portman, rank member carper, thank you for the opportunity to testify tonight. look forward to your questions. been. >> good motorhome, chairman. >> our organization conduct substantial work on inbound international mail productions and security. we issued eight report thursday
september 2015 and made 21 recommends to the postal service covering areas suchs enhancing systems and providing better employee oversight and including cooperation with cbp and posts. we also have two ongoing projects focused on advanced electronic data and opioid prepared nice at the postal service. in addition to this work, we're building our data analytics capacity to find and prevent drug trafficking through the mail. for years law enforcement used at that time to do find criminals and expose networks. early efforts focused on financial crime. and just as criminals misuse financial institution to commit fraud, the drug traffickers are misusing the u.s. mail to deliver illegal drugs and money. the postal service faces challenges the private company decide not when dealing with elicit narcotics in the mail. the postal service is obligated to deliver parcels. the postal service receives
limited electronache data and the information is onincomplete or inaccurate. in addition the sheer volume of inbound for parcel exceeds other ship everss and the law requires the postal service to obtain a warrant to search suspect parcels. this principle is being exploded by the criminals. as ecommerce expand, rapid growth of both domestic and international mail parcels is occurring, the postal service rerequires on electronache data to deliver part sells ex-more than 14 million parcels a day and it's easy for illegal drug parcels to hide. however, the data that the postal service uses to manage the network can be used to sniff out suspicious parcels and that's what we have begun doing in september our acting inspector general testified before the house about some of our work in this area. she described the case involving an international parcel containing fentanyl seized by
cbp in new york. the investigation uncovered a postal employee facilitating the delivery of ehis sis narcotics in florida. our analytics worked identified nearly 2800 additional suspicious parcels sent through the mail. since that time we have assisted other federal investigations involving re-shipping schemes and elicit international narcotics parcels. we identified a number of additional re-shippers who were unknown to law enforcement and responsible for thousands of special shipments. we are always did indicating resources to build tools. we recently completed the development of a tool to identify postal employee who may be stealing drug parcels from the maim or facilitating delivery of drug parcels to criminal groups. unlike legitimate customers who tell us when the parcels do not arrive we have yet to receive a complain from a drug dealer the parcel was missing. we have had to -- now we're analyzing postal service data
and looking for saidors to help us focus on carriers or routes where special parcels irdiappearing. the initial use of the enlightics tool has been encouraging. we are also currently building a tool to identify inbunt international parcels suspicious but not yet arrived in the united states. the hope is we can share the insights gained from the tool to better assist efforts to identify shipments for inspection and reduce the number of narcotics parcels the enter the mail street. we tested our accuracy and the results are promising. combat thing shipment of illegal drugs is no at problem any one agency can solve. cross-agency collaboration and data sharing is critical. we need to identify and interception parcels before their delivered rather than continuing to focus on investigating after the fact. one part of the solution is using dag to effectively to uncover problems but that's only half the bat: we need resource. our tool to identify employees,
identify suspicious poet postal arrests. the challenge is only going to get worse as the budget gets smaller. this challenge isn't unique to our organization but highlights knee to invest and tools and people to bat the probable -- combat the problem. data analytics provides hope. thank you for the opportunity to discuss our work eye. happy to answer any questions. >> mr. baldwin. >> good morning, chairman johnson, chairman portman, ranking member kearner and other members. my name is dan baldwin. i'm a special agent with the dea, i provide precisionality support to offices in asia and africa. prior to this i was the country attache for the dea office in beijing, china. it's an honor to be here today to speak before international cooperation and dea's enforcement efforts to combat the opioid crisis. in addition to my written remarks two things
i'd like to touch on this morning. the enormity of the problem and what we're doing to address the threat. first the problem. over the last year years dea encounters the convergence of the opioid epidemic and convergence of china. 42,000 americans lost their live due an opioid overdose. we all likely know someone who has been affected. this is a national threat and public health emergency fueled by fentanyl, and is cheap to make, hard to detect, and dangerously potent. the kilo of gramming be purchased for less than $5,000 and the potential profits from the sale of that kilo can compete $1.5 million. it is often smuggled across the u.s. mexican border or sent directly to the u.s. vias postal or express mail from china. found in heroin, counter-fifth
prescription drugs. two milligrams is potentially deadly, often times users don't know they're taking this lethal drug. this leads me to my second point. countering the threat. dea's mission is to disrupt and dismantle the highest priority drug trafficking threats to the united states. for deck quaid have maintained a worldwide presence to take the fight to the source, and in this case, china is the primary source of both fentanyl and the precursors used to make it. over the past decade, our relationship with china has progressed. as recently as three years ago, many of the synthetic drugs were encountered in the united states were not controlled in china, and they had no legal authority to assist us in our investigations. however, through continued engagement by dea and doj, highlighting the deficiency, additional legislation was passed in 2015 which improved their ability to more effectively control newly identified harmful substances.
china has now controlled 10 fentanyl class substances, 116 other new psycho active substances, the u.s. seize injure data shows that chinese control has an immediate effect on the availability of these drugs in the united states. we're also encourage bed discussions with chinas drug control officials and the prospect of scheduling fentanyl as a class. this would eliminate the need to control fentanyl related substance one-by-one. u.s.-china collaboration on investigations has also seen some. prompts. of note in 201, the department of justice indicted two chinese nationals responsible for manufacturing and distributing elicit fentanyl in the united states. these individuals have been designated as consolidated priority organization targets which are deemed the most significant drug traffickers by the department of justice. in the u.s., the dea and the u.s. interagency out liedded cordation such as dea special
operations and cbp's unanimous targeting snaer to enhance sharing of information. one outcome wag the recent take town of alpha bay in 201, one the largest dark net markets. going forward, the dea anticipated the opening of an office in china laters this year. this offers will facilitate greater collaboration with law enforcement counterparts along china's southern border where fentanyl and other drugs leave china in route to the united states. dea has seen progress work with the chinese counterparts and we are hopeful this relationship with continue to improve and develop. here in the u.s. the dea and he law enforcement partners representing heeder at the table will continue our collaboration. we're passionate and driven by families and individual that have been directly impacted by this crisis. thank you for the opportunity to testify before your committee on this important issue and i look forward to your questions.
>> good morning, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the opioid crisis in the united states and the efforts of u.s. immigration and customs enforcement. homeland security investigations to disrupt, dismantle and bring to justice the criminal elements responsible for manufacturing, smuggling and distribution of dane rouge opioids, the largest investigative agency within the neutz department of homeland could, i.c.e. homeland security investigations, investigates more than 400 criminal statutes. i.c.e. special agents use authority to investigate all types of cross-border activity and work in close collaboration in a unified effort with both domestic and international law enforcement partners to target transnational criminal organizations that are supplying dangerous opioids to the united states. today i would like to highlight
our efforts to combat international shipments of opioids, specifically fentanyl, coming coming into the united states threw international mail facilities. law enforcement has identified china as a primary source of the u.s. elicit opioid threat. elicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs and precursors are most often produced in china. from china they're shipped primarily to through mail carriers to the united states or ship end directly to mexico. once in the western hemisphere, fentanyl or analogs are prepared and mixed into the u.s. heroin supply, domestically or pressed into pill form and then moved to the elicit u.s. market where demand for prescription opioids and heroin remains at epidemic proportions. mexican transonly national organizations receive shipments of fentanyl from china to supply the elicit u.s. market. that's tran national criminal organizations utilize existing smuggling routes and u.s. based
infrastructure to get feeble to the end users. though fentanyl he see sures are higher in number at land ports of entry, fentanyl seizures from postal service are often unadulterated. they're shipped in concentrations of over 90%, whereas the majority of fentanyl in the land border environment is seizes in the purity concentrations of less than 10%. purchases can access open and dark net marketplaces to purchase elicit opioids like fentanyl online and have it shipped directly to homes in the united states. no different than any other ecommerce commodity. transnational criminal organizations recognize the vulnerability of the mail system and explode the great volumes of mails transiting into the united states as a means of further criminal activity. recognizing the neat target online fentanyl trafficking the i.c.e. cybercrimes center is facilitating the coordination of online undercover
investigations. i.c.e. is fully engaged with the dea special racings division, the cbp national targeting center to target par celts that it may contain elicit opioids and fully exploit financial and investigative intelligence. our border enforcement security task forces also known as st. it is operated in 50 locations in he united states. in responser i.c.e. with significant participation from colleagues at customs and border preparation stanned a base in memphis, tennessee which is imbedded at an northwestern major mail and express consignment facility. they target opioid shipmentsed dalely and engaged in controlled delivery of seized elicit parcels as an effective mean to identify end user and disrupt and dismantle. ice will enhance the nationwide
effort to interdict opioids transit through the mail system. i.c.e. has made significant strides in 2017 in combating the financial epidemic in united states as evidenced bay 4 been% increase in fentanyl related seizures. however even with that's another vanses there's no single solution or government entity that can stop the flow of dangerous and elicit opioidded like fentanyl into the united states or keep them from harming the american public. tackling is this complex threat involves a united, comprehensive and aggressive approach across law enforcement, interagency lines in collaboration with experts in the medical, science, and public haven't communities. i.c.e. will continue to work with federal, state and local partners to improve the eefficiency eye information sharing to address the challenges and threates bowed by elit sis narcotics smugglinged in the international mail environment. in closing i'd like to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and look forward to answering your questions. thank you.
>> to all the witnesses. we'll have a lot of questions for you. we have a number of senators here, can't state for the entire time. will be here the entire time. so i'm going to be very brief and then turn it over to them. i have an opportunity to ask more questions later. let me just say to summarize what you're saying, mr. nevano talked about the need for this to be an aggressive approach, and i must say, i have not seen the urgency over the past many years checker one at that time this at the state department for ten years, been talking about if the with international partners and we have evidence that we were able uncover in our investigation that it's still not going at the rate we would like, and we can talk about that later. i'll read you the e-mails talking about we slowed to a crawl in our efforts. there are over 300 million packages coming here without any dat and he needs that data be able to identify the packages. his number one thing is looking to do to stop it. so, my question is along those lines, just to give you the
opportunity to think about it and with that i'll turn effort to the rankmer and give everybody the opportunity to ask questions. >> anybody here has urgency to be in could places at once? no? go ahead. >> thank you. senator langford who was here first. >> i appreciate very much you being here in the testimony. let me run threw couple of different questions to get some clarity on thus. mr. murphy, you mentioned by the end of 2020 the advanced electronic data we should be capable of gathering that. then you hesitate and say just because we're capable doesn't mean we're actually doing it. so help me understand the next level. when are we not just capable by the end of 2020. when are we actually getting the data? >> thank you, senator.
that's correct. what is happening is n the upu context is the tools are being put in place and capacity is being built so countries have the ability, if they have to da to send it. the bottle next is at the country level, in collecting the data and entering it. >> what is the time frame for that? >> that is yet to be determined. >> 2020, 2(025)203-0124. >> countries will begin deploying requirements forked ad a athey're now entitled to do. those requirements need to be calibrated to the capabilities of the second countries, but it's going to be a driver of further deployment. so there isn't at this point a firm deadline by which every country -- >> the headline is the capability by 2020 but no deadline for when they actually have to do it. >> no deadline established at
this time, senator. . >> how do we get that? >> i think we need be guided by our own information needs as we assess what we want to ask for. and then tailor our requests around the capabilities of partners to ensure that we get customs and border protection the information they're looking for in a timely way. >> thank you. mr. bald win, and mr. nevano, a question for either of you. trying to work through the process of not just picking up not only the seller which is important but also the buyer. how do you start to be able to break out and say this is a very small amount of fentanyl, looks like other year, versus this a larger amount and we need to track the seller and the buyer because it could be a street director. how do you work through the process of not only the interdiction but then the enforcement aspect of it. >> senator, thank you for your
question. in regards to identifying the different players in this process, we have of course, offices oversaid that work directly within the supply chain as far as the supply from china. we work here in the united states and we have our agents identifying leads, either from cbp, from postal or own investigations. we then are providing those back to china. so we're identifying the entire chain. of course the goal is to identify the largest level suppliers, the suppliers from china so that if we have an individual who is sending multiple thousands of packages, that make this work at the end of the table easier by eliminating the one shipper. >> if they're ordering it online you have an ip address, you probably have a sit location or region this package is coming from when it was drop off. supremes like to bee multiple marketers their financial transaction and should be able
to narrow the focus but you have the address of the person who is purchasing it here because that's who it's being delivered to. >> you hit on one i was going to -- how i was going to responsible. relationships with financial institutions is key in being able to track the financial transactions on shing and sending end. we have established relationships with funnel institutions that allows to us track the flow of the funds going from the purchaser to the person on the other end who is actually sell elicit opiode. that is key do ido with incentives for a nations to cooperate with us? it's millions and millions of dollars, obviously, that are in the transaction at times, and it certainly for the largest dealers. there is any incentive for the other nations to cooperate with us to share that information? >> i would defer part hi to that to dea but from the hsy
perspective, we have tried to establish relationships in foreign countries, u with intelligence sharing and work with law enforcement partners to establish mutual relationships to show the benefit of how establishing these relationships can interdict a package before it comes into the united states, and that is ultimately what our goal is. we can push the borders further out to not have the package come into the united states. that's our goal. >> just to follow up, senator, with -- add more to that answer, countries, at least china, has an interest in working with us to try to address some of the stuff coming out of china. there's a potential that this threat could be -- these drugs could be used by their own people. they're not necessarily seeing that right now but certainly are recognizing the potential of that. we have certain mechanisms within dea and the department of justice where we're engaging them on a regular basis to assist us in getting them to help us with this problem.
those are things we work on daily, and annually. we have meetings to try push our asks to the chinese, in order to get them to come to the table to do more in regards to addressing these substances coming out of china. >> switching countries, mexico, you messengered a couple of times as well this precursors come to mexico ya and with mexican production facilities where they're shortcutting china and instead of having it delivered from china, getting it straight to mexico. what's the cooperation like with mexico right now for that as well? >> senator, in regards to dea's cooperation with mexico, it is good. we have seen within mexico we have seen some -- this substance move into mexico where it's being produced. but as it was said in the opening statements, the percentage and the purity of the substance coming over the border, on the southern border, is less than it is coming through the mail service. our -- we are also looking to
try to bring both mexico and china together to collaborate on this issue and deal with the substances, precursors going to mexico and then come into the united states. so one of the things we're working on but we have deposit relationship with our folks in mexico as well. he want to make shower they're working with china to make sure they dress the threat in their done i. >> can i make one quick comment. thank you for allow flowing go quickly to get to next meeting and also want to be able to highlight the inspector general for the postal service, not only for the work they have fun reports but senator heitkamp and i worked on this for quite a while. the postal service inspector general has worked with all of the inspectors general to pull together a web site called oversight.gov that is getting awful the ig reports out for every single group and their team was a major player on getting those reports out and
that's exceptionally helpful to all of us. so publicly we come at you with questions but let me say, thank you. it's valuable to all of us. so thank you. >> senator carper. >> senator langford, you remind me of a point i made earlier about this. the postal service is not only running out of money, they're out of money. heading for what we call bankruptcy and we have an obligation on this committee congress to enable them to be successful, not only provide legitimate service needed but to better ensure that the delivery of fentanyl and these kind of narcotic drugs is diminished and hopefully eliminated. so, that's just timely reminder on another front. ask -- i want to ask, one thing we can do to help you and your folks do a better job, one think weeing do, mr. murphy.
>> senator, at the -- >> might be something we're doing, maybe something we need to do better. me dad used to say to my sister when we had chores, he said, a job worth doing is worth doing well, and i took the idea that everything if do. >> can do better, and what can we do to enable you and your folks to do a better job. >> senator, the attention that the issue has gotten domestically is something that is noticed internationally, and the higher profile of this issue is useful bureaucratically, certainly, and i personally and my walk protect the attention the issue has received. >> mr. cintron. >> comprehensive postal reform. >> thank you. >> the exponential group in ecommerce from the mail facilities and express courier
facilities, additional staffing would help as well as continued support of the analytical work and science services folks. >> thank you. >> postal governors. we tajh about how this is a strategic problem and something that requires a sense of urgency, having govern -- in addition to all the leadership they're already receiving in the postal service. >> a timely point that you raise there are no current governors on the postal board of governors other then the postmaster general and the deputy postmaster general. second largest corporation in this country operating without a board of directors. that's essentially where we are and i just unconscionable. we have three mom knees -- three nominees from the art meteorologist and we have one originally nominated by president barack obama, two democrats and two republicans and have a quorum to go forward.
wonderful point and a timely point, thank you. mr. baldwin. >> yes, senator. dea always appreciative of any additional tools and authorities that are granted to us to address the opioid epidemic. >> can you be more specific? >> specifically -- our priority are outlined in 2018 budget proposal, so as those are prioritized by people that are much smarter than me at dea headquarters, that's what ski, we prioritize those particular budget proposals inch regard to the specific threat we have a number of things in regards to scheduling, scheduling actions and controls and those type of things we would look toot be able to better address the threat. >> thanks. mr. nevano. >> senator, i want to thank you for the resources that congress gives us, both in budget as well as personnel, but with more we can do more. my answer would be resources. the me resources the more special agents we have thinks
more staffing we have. would allow us to do our job more effectively. >> thank you. you mentioned china. i think almost every one of you mentioned china. about two, three years ago, the president of china was come thing to he u.s., going meet with president obama, i think they met in washington state. and one thing what raised by president obama is an issue we raised we china any number of times before and that was our unhappiness, actually anger, with their allowing folks within china to launch these hacks and to come after our intellectual property and money and any number of other items and things of value. and every time we raise this with china, they would say, well, nobody that we're responsible for is doing this, it's not the chinese military, not our government. just happening in different
people are doing this stuff. we didn't believe them. and then went president obama met with president xi or two three years ago in washington state, and the raid this issue wife president xi, he says it is not us. it's rogue elements. the president obama says, this who is is doing it, this is where ware located. that he are he people. i if you don't do anything about it you'll find it more difficult to sell your good and products in this country, and president xi acknowledged they could help. and they have. and they have. haven't stopped all the hacks from chinese but slowed them down. the similar experience with iran. for years and years trying to shut down or banks. get on their web sites, shut them down, and literally week after be entered into the comprehensive agreement with iran on not developing a nuclear weapon, guess what stopped? the attacks or our banks. when you think about root
causes, not just working on the appetite we have for illegal drugs like opioid, it's others at well. it's focus on china figured rally, roof to to our ambassador to china last week, hopefully my colleagues can join us to ask what are you doing in our embassy and what do we need to do to address the root cause from your sentenced mr. baldwin, why is it important that we engage with china? please give us an update on cooperative efforts with your counterparts in china to help identify the sources of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. >> senator, thank you for the question. simply, the recent we have tone gauge with china as anybody who changed oil in their car, we know the big side of the fentanyl and the small side of the funnel. china is the small side of the funnel, meaning that's the place where things are originating weapon need to get the packages before they get to the united states and branch out to a
thousand different locations within the united states. we can track every package, we can try to track every package, try to address every threat, every trafficker within the united states but if we can get to the small end of the funnel, attack distributors within china that are sending tens of thousands of packages to the united states, would have a greater impact. the importance of working with china is that. we have the ability to do that with them along with them, and that is fed by information from cbp, postal, ourer ins hat hsi. we identify packages here, we identify the shipping origin, and take the head off the snakes. >> thanks for that response. when we have a second round i'll revisit this with other members of the panel. >> chairman johnson. >> mr. chairman, this is really for mr. baldwin or mr. nevano. read an article said that $800 worth of precursor
ingredients for fentanyl produces $800,000 worth of street value drug, it that even close to true? >> senator, i would say that is an accurate assessment. we know that the profit margin in fentanyl is much higher than, let's say, heroin. so your statement is accurate. >> so obviously, where there's a demand, it's going to be supplied with that kind of profit potential. i want to talk about the difference between -- i'm not going to holdous to these figures but what percentage of the fentanyl is coming in through mexico, having been transshipped, and how much is coming in through -- directly through the postal system. i'll talk about purity devilses later but some kind of sense. >> i'm not sure if my colleague at cbp might be able to an that better. >> whoever can best answer these questions, hop in. >> just based on our interdiction, just based on
seizures, more, larger seizures through the southwest border, purer. in 2017, 854-points of fentanyl was seized in the land border, 335 pounds were seized in the express and mail environment. so, much higher quantities but much lower purity. >> why the difference in the purity? are the cutting in mexico to be used immediately or just the practicality of you want to ship smaller quantities. >> the seizures we see, the fentanyl is mixed in with other narcotics other, hard nark particulars, whereas in the mail environment, express environment, it's all just a single shipment. the fem that pure by itself. >> so the coming through the postal system, it that sent to other labs to be processed and cut further to take the 100% personal? generally, when you are -- when somebody is abusing feeble
fentanyl, what percent purity in the tablet? >> i think you hit on something that is crucially important. we have two threat areas. the southern border threat where we have opinionly precursors for making fentanyl are found in mexico and they're producing fentanyl there then is adulterated into the other illegal drugs being pushed across the border. we then have the mail stream that has higher purity. those, then, are being used at times within the united states and what we call pill mill operations, where that fentanyl is pushed interest a pill that's a counterfeit pill. i mentioned those in my open remarks -- to much much like similar pails that drove the opioid crisis. the dosage amount in the bills is one mill grandmother. one milligram of fentanyl, is 1/thousand o a gram and there's a million milligrams in a kilo. that's how many pills can be made and that's in the pill mill
operation process. >> in brief material, almost sounded like they're just users directly buying that. it that also the case or almost 100% of the case where things are being shipped to some kind of pill mill? >> senator, it's like nye any other ecommerce, end years can sit in their living room and order elicit opioids online. >> with woo they be getting 90% purity. >> that is accurate. >> is that why they're dying so quick? >> that would be accurate, senator. >> i want specifically what would you like to see china do? not cooperate. i mean specifically. are they not investigating this center they turning a blind eye? specifically what would you like them to do. >> thank you for the question. it's working in china, of course, has its challenges. there are things that china has
done back in 2015 they checkedded their law to where they were able to adapt to a threat in a third country. so, in the united states, if we have an abuse of a certain substance that's not controlled in china, their law is now adapted to where we can take that abuse data and provide it to china where they then can change their law. dea has a mechanism set up that we are within our chemical evaluation axe, where we are evaluating different substances, the harm and effect it's having on the american people, and we're providing that information directly back to china for their action. so, when i -- when you ask what want china to do i would like them to continue down that road. they've taken it seriously -- they've controlled a number of different fentanyls. we have prioritizeed fentanyl information provided to the chinese and they've actually controlled our top four asks. we want that dialogue to continue. we're hopeful it does witch want it to get better and better.
we want our experts to meet regularly and exchange this important information. again, this is something we can do to directly address those threats that are here in the united states with china. >> not a glaring omission. just a matter matter -- a matter of doing good things but need to do more. >> absolutely. that's one aspect of what they do. one piece of the puzzle. there's multiple problems here, multiple facets. >> one problem is the analogs and our law and china's law as well keeping one with the minute changes changes changes and we introduced an act and dea tried to do it through the regulatory powers but may be putting up against their own legal requiremented. you kentucky about the need to codify that. >> thank you for that question. i'm not with all the details win the act. i'm aware of it. i am certainly -- we of course,
if we have another tool that's provided to dea for us to deal with this problem and that's the act that gives us that tool, we're happy -- >> you're constrained right now the terms of rapidly scheduling an analog, correct? >> we have existing authorities to move forward and schedule substances. that is not something i'm intime natalie familiar with. i'm within the operations division. we have the plan and esag wait folks that do this daily. however, if we have tools that are offered to us in whatever bill, we're happy to work with you to try to assist you in moving the bill forward. >> real quick. was pleased to hear you trained dogs in fentanyl. i thought if you did that, they'd die. how many mork 9 unit does you need? i'd ask you just in general. we're all very supportive of it on this commitee. for this particular task, how many k-9 units could use you. >> we can always increase
resourceses a facilities. it's important when congress supported us before with carly fiorina 9s it -- with k-9s it need to come with a handler. we currently have just under 500 dogs working at ports of entry so any enhancement to that would increase capability. >> is it specific dog for a specific drug? >> our dogs generally two cal the narcotics detector dogs fife six types and dog that the detective currency and firearm for outbound threat. >> you have been able to add fentanyl to the six. >> yes. >> that's impressive. thank you for your service. >> thank you. >> let me just quickly on the followup on china. dea and justice indicted two chinese nationals as was widely publicized, and they indicted them because they were using the mail to ship large amounts of fentanyl to the united states.
so the question is, what can china do? it's fine to schedule these precursors that go into making fentanyl, fine to schedule the analogs. a good idea. but it's about actually taking action and prosecutions. so let me ask you, mr. baldwin. about those two individual indicted justice department and dea were involved. they have been prosecuted? >> thank you for the question. the current status i'm not absolutely certain where they are within the system within china. i do know this. i do know that the traffickers and the shippers of these substances from china are very creative. so if they have the ability and you lib learned this with your -- probably learned this with your own inside investigation, if something is controlled in china they die vote another substance that is not controlled. >> let me just back up. i understand that the challenges and we talked about that. there's also transshipment
challenges. asked you a specific question, have the individuals been arrested and prosecute inside. >> i -- >> the answer is no. unless you're going to correct me. >> no they're currently not under in custody -- >> that's the answer. the-and-no. >> so to the chairman's good question about what could the chinese do, how about prosecuting these two individuals who you all indicted? two individuals out of the thousands of labs in china that are sending this into our communities. that would be a good step. >> can i just -- >> just have a moment. to follow up, the chinese feel like they have dog in this fight? some in china like to see is further weakened as a nation and our continued use, abuse, overuse of harmful narcotics weakens us. there's enormous amount of now be made and talking about money that will flow from this country to their country. somehow they have to be made to believe or understand they have a dog in this fight, and
parially it's to say this, customers for these drug maize be your people, not just ours. but also when the president of the united states meets with leader of china, it's important that this be at or near the top of the issues raised. >> senator heitkamp. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think this is the third or fourth time we have been in this room talking about this. and i have to tell you, this investigation reminds us that we're not doing everything with the sense of urgency that we need to do, and so i recognize y'all are working really hard on this, that y'all want to see success, but we have to be more urgent about this, and we can build $20 billion wall but if we don't solve this problem, we will not have solve the problem of interdicting drugs. if we simply focus on china, we will not solve the problem of
interdicting these drugs. if with simply focus on mexico, fentanyl in my state, that killed kids, that led to a huge i investigation, one thief first, came from china, to canada, to portland, oregon, to north dakota. last time we were here we talked about treaties. talked about the need to work government to government, with authorities like mr. owens to try and see are the treaties stopping us from doing what whether need to do? are we on the right path? and i want to expand this discussion because it's not just about drug interdiction and mr. owens, you have made such a great point about ecommerce. as ecommerce grows, this problem will get worse and worse and won't just be about illegal drugs. it's going to be at counterfeit goods, about avoiding goods that may in fact injure from a consumer protection standpoint, where it's lead point in toys, whatever it is, we need to have our laws enforced that protect
the public safety, and so we're failing, and we're failing because we have understead and underresourced the post office. i think it's pretty clear. we're failing because we haven't worked in a government-to-government way to close the loopholes and this since just about drugs. it's about all of ecommerce, as the states -- i think that's the court probably will give the states the ability to collect sales tax. they're going to have some skin in the game because it may drive some offshoring of ecommerce to avoid sales tax responsibilities in states. so those of us who live on the border understand the complex-to-working to make sure that we are not shutting down commerce but that we are in fact protecting public health and safety. now, mr. bald one, you described the funnel. right? we want to get to that point. a lot of 0 talk about chinese. how ease it is it if we got 100%
complete cooperation from china, we got extradition or we got prosecutions, whatever it might be, for that to be offshored, moved someplace else, and given the high profit margin that mr. and a half very row described and therapy johnson shrined, how difficult is it -- my point in asking that if we simply say we're going to focus our attention on the one point of development before it expands to the points of entry into this country, how difficult is it to move that around the world? mr. baldwin. >> senator, thank you for your question, and he answer to that is it's very easy to do. there are multiple countries that stand in the ready to take up where china would leave off. >> why not. i you look at that kind of profit margin. think it's really important we not spend all of our time here simply focused on china. we have to understand that because of what chairman johnson
and chairman carper continue to doc about the insatiable appetite for these drugs, we have to understand what while we're trying to deal with demand, we can't let supply come in the amount that it is because it has driven the price -- street price down and has created an opportunity for transition from prescription drugs to illegal street drugs, and the pill -- i'm glad you brought. we have seized these oxy -- fix october sunday that are fentanyl, and the people who are doing do it not have ph.ds in chemistry and they're putting amounts in there that is lethal. never mind the destruction it does to the social safety net of this country. it's killing people. and so my request would be, what are the strategies, not just dealing with china, but what
their strategies to deal with these precursor problems, to deal with all of this and how do we need to do a better job to give you the tools to interdict at the point of entry. and one point about how pervasive this can he. when i was attorney general i ran the drug task forces. we knew we had a huge meth problem. a lot of attention to labs, 90 to 95% of the neglect consumed in z north dakota came in through mexico. wasn't home grown with got a tip there was a package with meth. we lined it up, brought in the dogs, they hit on three packages out of ten. that's what we know. we know that we are just -- we are just getting inundated and so what can we do, working within our international cooperation, renegotiate the postal agreements that we have to avoid that limit you from doing what you need to do,
mr. owen in terms of interdiction? >> having the advanced data so we can target from china and as the threats shaved, as they try transship. you're absolutely right, in the ecommerce, cbp is looking at this an all-threats environment. we have trade compliance issue, public health and safety. the ecommerce growth, 1.4 million parcels a day cross our boreds and only going to continue continue crease. >> the reason wife ask this, the last time we were here we heard over and over again from the postal service their treaties or their relationships international contracts -- i think they're probably treaties -- the treaties they have with canada, with other international groups, limit their ability to do interdiction. is that still true? >> so, because we have been at this a long time, we were told we can't use dogs by dea last
time because that fentanyl kills them. now we hear you're using dogs. we heard last time the post agreements internationally limit our ability to do work. now we have to get a -- an urgency to this and deal with it not just about illegal drugs but everythingth we suspect to protect our border. i want to thank you all. this i not the end of this. i want to thank the chairman for the excellent work done here. i think that we didn't reveal anything in this report that we didn't know. and i want to point out that the two chinese individuals who were indicted, were indicted in north dakota. >> we'll hear proper pressure murphy about the issue of international treaties and what the universal postal union challenges are but i don't think we have had the urgency and
spent ten years going back and forth and all we have to show for it is a bar code. it's fine, but there's no inflammation on the bar code for most countries for most walk packages. this is an urgent problem. >> mr. chairman this, point i want to make about ecommerce is that this isn't just limited -- if we just simply focus on drug interdiction and on china, our immediate problem, we'll mills the opportunity to fix the broader problem or at least provide a broader sweep in terms of what we need on all of ecommerce, whether it's counterfeit goods, things that violate public health and safeth -- safety, things happening to do tax evasion. >> senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much. and thank you, mr. chairman, and senator carper for inviting me to join today. and this is something i think this report is incredibly important and sheds some light on just what is going on here. i personally think, well, maybe
some of this information has been out here. it's pretty stunning, and i also want to thank the chairman. he and i are leading the bill to do something about this. the stop act, which would require shipments from foreign countries through our postal system to provide advanced electronic data before the shipments enter the united states. i got interested in this because, like so many other senators, i saw what was happening in minnesota. 637 deaths from opioids and other drug overdoses in 2016. that is more than the number of car crashes and homicides combined in my state. almost 100 of these deaths, 96 of them, involved synthetics and nearly 80% increase from the previous year, and 85 involved fentanyl and one of them was prince. but it's not just celebrities
that die from fem. it's a -- from fentanyl. it's high school kids and college kids and we have to do something about this. guess i'll start with you, mr. owens. as you know, this bill would show us where the package is coming from, who it's going to, when and what is in it and how would this sort of information help customers and border patrol protect and interdict. shes of drugs like fem. >> when we look at the way the process works, it's critical we receive the advanced data on all cargo shipments including what we're seeing in the mail prior to the arrival of the shipment show we can use an lit:tools, past seizure records to make the connection and advise the postal service. last week at jfk woe had a. she front china, an epacket. an express market.
the advance evidence information watt provided to us. we were able to target the shipment prior to arrival, place it on hold. we had 28 grams of an unknown white powder, using the technology equipment we now have deployed at the ports of entry, able to identify it as fentanyl, from there we were able to work if with the criminal investigative part in other words ott i.c.e. and dea and nypd, made a control drivery took down three additional individuals making an arrest at that facility. pill presses, the equipment to further manufacture and distribute was there as well as two m4s so two high powered weapons part of that. that is one example, only 28 grams of fentanyl, but it always start he with the advanced information provided prior to the arrival of the cargo, allowed to us target based on rules in systems, connections to previous seizures and allow us to deliver consequences with the criminal investigators to take people into custody. so i think that's a great
example just from last week, initiated at jfk as to how this process should work. >> exactly. so tell me the challenges, though, and why it isn't working everywhere. >> the challenge is the advance information little is what we need prior to the arrival. needs to become security timely and that's an area we're working on very closely. made strong progress but still a lot of work to go. >> thank you tell us about the trends that you have seen, the trends and the terms of the amounts of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, that bad actors from overseas are shipping in. >> absolutely. this problem came really to light a few years back. we continue to see increased interdictions in the mail and the express environment. last year of the 335 pounds we did seize, 92-pounds were in the mail environment and 240-pound in the express environment. so it is a threat through both pathways, also through the mexican border, less purity on the mexican border mixed in with other seizures but the trends
continue to go up as the changes are making us more effective we'll seize more in '18 than than we did in '17 burt the volume at the border, interdiction is only a small part of the solution because the volume ties overwhelming to think we can stop this problem at the border. >> you and mr. cintron talked about the fact that 23 countries are now sharing this advanced electronic dat with the us? you said we're now, whoing to increase the number. how do you do that and what are your hopes of doing that? ... it represents 90% of the volume coming in.
we have a big push this year of untracked volumes that will yield that volume. our target is to focus on that partner right now. we are seeing data, over but the focus and collaboration is to focus on those country. >> i think when we see these numbers coming in, i'm from a state known for doing a lot of treatment and that's part of the reason senator portman and i read the act for a blueprint for our country. it's why i believe we need to get more funding for opioid and why we need to do a bettera job of policing with the drug
company have been doing in terms of getting people hooked on this. this issue is something that is getting worse and worse with fentanyl. it's up to 100 times more potent, as you know, the morphine. we00 are seeing a dose the size of two grains of salt that can be fatal. i just ask you, we are trying together support for our bill because if we can stop some of this, i know it's not the only solution. you have to look at many items but it has to be part of it. we need to make it easier to prosecute the sale and production of synthetics. they basically take the chemical makeup, change it a bit and then senator graham
and i have a bill with a number of supporters going through to make it easier. it needs to be sophisticated as the people trying to get people hooked on drugs that ultimately kill them. i want to thank the chairman for his leadership and i hope it moves all of us to more action. >> thank you for your leadership. more broadly on what we talked about earlier which is the need for more prevention and treatment and longer-term recovery. that's all part of it. we need to do it and we know we can. what this report showed is that for not even doing what we can do within our current budget restraints. issued the fact that the answer almost universally was more funding, more funding. will talk a little bit about this in a moment when i ask a
question of you all. i don't disagree with that more funding is important and we did just passed legislation to provide more funding to detect fentanyl, but we've got other problems. we are not coordinating well, what are doing what we should be doing. last year we were able to get a number from last year, it was the same as the previous year. even during the year ever chart in your report you can see, it was flat. we are not doing what they said we need to be doing which is to pull them off line and go after the individuals. >> thank you and thank you for your leadership for you and what your staff has done. we're seeing this in montana. looking at the map, there's
not a lot of color on it. it is costing our state dearly. 35 montanans died. this opioid epidemic continues to drain resources i could otherwise be taken. [inaudible] they issued a report last november and losses are half a trillion dollars in 2015 alone. we need to better our efforts so that they can prevent the distribution of opioids and the first place. my days with procter & gamble, i spent over five and half years working in china as one of the early pioneers to
develop and grow our business, make great american brands and produce and ship those to the consumer. i understand a certain amount contain opioids that originate from china. could you show the committee china's relationship with the dea? >> certainly. dea has had a presence in china beginning in hong konga back in the 70s. we sent them up to beijing to engage with the chinese and having spent time in china, long-term relationship is much better than a short-term relationship in the sense that you build rapport and understanding, you have the ability to ask more and get more done. chinese dea's presence in china is important in regards
to this threat, we have a direct liaison with the narcotics bureau which is under the. [inaudible] they are a single mission entity much like dea. there are a lot of political issues out there. we see i tie and we know we both have a common mission. at least we can start there. now we have a country, it station full-time in beijing and we have a number of employees and we are extending our presence. we are opening another office in order to expand into the province where we would then be able to have direct engagement with the provincial law enforcement authorities who are the ones that are doing the work. our goal is to build on that
we are hopeful that the office will be valuable. >> we actually live there and had two children born in hong kong. it's interesting to go back in history, the opium wars, this is a problem that goes back a long way and it's something that is not new. i've got to commend the german. he was such a strong advocate indirectly questioning the premier about how to we reduce this source being shipped right there in the united states. you looked up map and the
devastation that it's creating in ohio and other places around the country. i appreciate your help in trying to get to the root cause. just last week in my home state, the report showed there was a couple employed by the usps in montana. it was caught distributing methamphetamine to postal shipments. a city like this is just beautiful. it's in the south tip of flat held lake. the population is less than 5000 people. it's concerning that half a pound of mat methamphetamine could be shipped directly into the small community. i'm grateful for law-enforcement officials, their vigilance uncovered this operation and we need to do more to stop the spread of this epidemic that is
occurring in montana. the question is what detective and preventive measures are they taking to combat the domestic shipment of methamphetamine in rural america. >> i'm going to ask the inspector to step up and answer the question. >> thank you. i was sworn in at the beginning of the hearing. i'm a chief postal inspector. as we heard before the challenges for domestic are just as challenging as it is for international but the volume is even higher in the domestic arena. we use our intelligence and our data and work with law-enforcement data and package history and for employee cases we work with
inspector general to partner closely. they spoke about some of their efforts as well. >> while i still have you there, i somewhat understand how a couple that is employed by the usps could be cut in part because it's a small community. it's difficult to hide in a close-knit community and clearly you need to step up enforcement. what can we do in congress, this might be a two-part question, what can we do that helps you in those efforts. >> from my vantage point, the postal service has given additional services. i will speak from the inspection side. from our vantage point reform
to allow us to continue doing what we do with the postall service and postal operations but you're right. in the small communities it's criminal intelligence and we get a tip from someone who will tell us about something, something like that but comprehensive reform for mayan. >> we receive our funding through the postal service but we are treated through the appropriations service. they just can't't give us additional funding and resources for these kind of. [inaudible] we are facing the same kind of reduction that all are facing. additional resources for us would be very appreciated. >> chairman, them out of time. thank you. >> thank you for your leadership.
one of the points that i made is that the fact in china, they have a growing problem of opioid addiction and that's not surprising given the fact that they are producing more of the opioids, there is leakage. they do have an interest in this, for a lot of reasons, including the number of overdose deaths and lives being taking off track but their own issues. with regard to the testimony earlier, you said it's important have this advanced electronic data and the fact that most of you responded
that we need more money, i would make an obvious point. i agree more resources are important and we just passed new legislation, but it's a whole lot more cost-effective for you and your people to have advanced electronic data, isn't it? >> yes it is. the manual process that's the alternative will does not meet the challenge we face. the use the intuition of the officer. the volume is overwhelming. we have risk management that relies heavily on data. the data is the key. >> let me just take this to the next level because there was a lot of information in the report that wasn't previously known. one was that we needed to target certain companies.
you said it was hard to track the packages from china because there were too many. that's not responding to the threat which we know is from china but it's this data that we don't have the ability to track packages so you couldn't even look at any packages from china. now you have some advanced electronic data. we think 50% of the packages from china are included in this electronic data because of the e packet agreement you have and that's good, but we are still letting so much ofmu this through. the other point you make in your testimony is even if you have electronic data in advance and you know this package is suspicious, 20% of
the time they can't find the package to present to you to be able to check it. >> we started it was much less. they put some mechanism in plac place, the increase inch the presentation rate has gone up significantly by 80% is not where we need to be. >> 20% of these packages that are identified as suspicious are still getting through. more resources, i know that's fine, but this is a management challenge. let these packages go requires better coordination with all of you and the postal service. it requires, as you said earlier, accurate, timely information and then the presentation of those packages. let me go back to the origins of our problem which is the lack of information coming from these countries. you talked earlier about where you are in terms of working
with the other countries around the world, you talk about the rapid progress and we've got e-mail traffic indicating otherwise but let me, if i could, just go along to another piece of information we were able to uncover. if you look at exhibit a, it's an e-mail from may of 2017, this is a memo to nerissa cook from gregory and if you turn to page 821 of this memo you would see an unredacted section. in that section it states that advanced electronic data is a topic of high interest on the hill because of the presumed contribution aed would make. it goes on to state despite
its uncertain benefits for this purpose, accelerating the exchange is one of the highest priorities because of its clear benefits for aviation security. an expeditious mail handling. the first question is where you part of this memo? did you help to draft or contribute to this memo? >> yes, sir, i drafted the language in question. okay. is this what we believe? again, resources is important but if we have a government that thanks that this advanced electronic data can target counterfeit goods is more important than stopping a poison coming into our community i think we have a problem of priorities.
i guess i would ask, is using advanced electronic data to target counterfeit goods and intellectual property rights a function of the state department? >> center, the state department doesn't use this data for any purpose. >> so no, that's not your job. what agency is responsible for using it to target rpr violations. >> that would be cpb. how did you determine there was a clear benefit for using it to target intellectual property but not opioids. >> senator, first of all, let me clarify as you point out this is an internal memo from one office in a bureau of the state department to the leadership of that bureau so it doesn't reflect the viewsre of the department. se. it is part of an internal
discussion. the use of advanced electronic data for aviation security with high-priority concerns and expeditious mail handling, these are established, these are the uses for this data that are very well-established that are familiar to people in the environment that have been talked about for many years. the use of this data for law, for specifically targeting synthetic opioids is no older than the crisis itself so it was less familiar. >> let me just interrupt you for a second. >> it reflects the novelty of it if anything else. >> this memo was written last year. may of 2017.
so you're saying the state department didn't know that we had an issue with opioids? didn't know that in may of 2017. >> i'm not trying to put you on the spot personally, but i think it reflects an attitude and i think it reflects the need for us to be aggressive and stand and it's an attitude of trying to work with these countries for ten years we've been doing it with very little success, we do have the barcode now which is great, we just need the information on the barcode. i hope it doesn't reflect a state department attitude. i hope that after you heard from these individuals today and perhaps some of the stories here that you have a different view that you understand that electronic data is really important. it's not the silver bullet. there is no one silver bullet. we've got to stop the demand in this country. if we have an attitude that
this doesn't matter, we willte continue to get this coming in through our mail system. the commissioner can't do his job. i hope that one of the outcomes of this report that we worked on, and the hearing today is to prioritize this issue and, instead of saying it's not as important as intellectual property and fake purses from china, but to say it's more important, it's about people dying. i thank you again for your service and i hope that you will go back to the upu and to your partners around the world and talk about this as an urgent matter. i'll ask a couple other questions if i could. one of the issues that i think has not been properly explained today is the fact that there is a lot more overseas packages coming into
america. it might be helpful if you would just give us those numbers. we have them in the report, it may not be accurate as we want to hear from you, but when i talked about the fact that there were about 500 million packages coming into the united states today, that is double just in the past few years. that makes your job harder but again, all the more important that we have this data to know what's coming in. can you talk a little bit about that. >> certainly. we can probably provide you the specifics on the numbers and certainly you are pretty close to that range. we've seen a significant amount increased over the past few years. a couple things we are doing, in the last year we deployed a significant amount of processing equipment around the country based on these inbound cities. in the cities like up in the pacific area of california, new york, chicago, we have deployed equipment to handle the influx of the volume
itself coming in. that is one piece. the other piece, and working to get more aid we've increased those numbers. we will see a significant amount this year with ourgn efforts around the young filing which will put us at about 70% capture by the end of the year. significant improvement for this year. what we have done subsequent on the equipment, not only do we have it running but we've expanded that to 13 facilities attached to those where we now have the ability to trap and capture. to the question of the 20% that's missing, our efforts right now, that expansion of equipment, capture before we get a downstream, and further to that in the next several months we will have the capability of the delivery unit level to track that piece and we certainly always have
the inspection service which, at any time other embedded with these other agencies themselves can intercept the package anywhere in the domestic mail stream. there is a lot of effort to get more aid this year end really go after making sure that hundred pieces they are asking for is the hundred pieces we will get and we are laser focus that every piece we can capture before he gets out of the network itself that we capture. >> again, if i look at what happened in 2017, it was flat. you talk about 40%, i talk about 36%. in november was less than 36%. we went up down and back up a little bit at the end. it's not a good trend. 70% would be ambitious. this was a program where, particularly with regard to china you had an agreement on these e packets.
this is one of the custom and border patrol officers working on the ground at jfk and they said there has been no meaningful improvement as they approach their second year. that's one individual. >> commissioner owen, you may agree or disagree with that. i would like to hear from you on it.k i just don't think the evidence supports what you are saying in terms of this priority and of the significant ramping up, certainly not the last year end certainly not with this kind of data. you have any thoughts? do agree with that? >> i would just say i think we learned a lot from the jfk pilot as it begun. it started with a very small advanced electronic data from china and france. we had to train our officers on how to target. i think we learned a lot from the pilot. i think it was a slow road
which led to the expansion in the other. i think were on the right track and we will continue to move forward. >> are you planning to expand beyond the china packet. >> yes. they'll be us and we do plan to be go on and beyond the packets. we're targeting a country. when you look at the volume as far as what's coming from what part of the world we basically formed a risk assessment and asked to see the packages targeted for one country that may be of greater concern than another at that specific facility. >> let me just ask a general question. there has been a lot of discussion about the need to focus on china, and of course i agree with that and all the evidence from the da and elsewhere that that's the source of most of this
synthetic opioid coming into our country. most of it comes from the mail. we also know that as he said earlier, this is a very lucrative trade and there will be shipments to other countries to try to avoid whatever we come up with. so, is it true that if we just focus on one country and the approach to deal with these countries around the worldhi that we are likely to see shipments to other countries, telling all countries if you want to do business to us you have to provide this data. >> senator, thank you for your question. i would agree with that. as we improve onim our techniques and our abilities to interdict partners, they will only change their modus operandi. they will change how they do
business to try to avoid and invade law-enforcement efforts. >> thank you. i have a couple more questions. >> thank you. i don't know if anybody, has anyone heard of willie sutton, a famous bank robber who long since died but many decades ago was finally arreste arrested. someone asked him why does he rob banks and he said that's where the money is. while we focus on china? that's where a lot of the stuff is coming from. why do we focus, i'm reminded of the game that was played, we have a great place called
fun land for our kids, it's a little amusement park. one of the favorite games was whack a mole. this not a game. it's also a different version. there's a lot of money to be made. this is a multi layered approach. i think we are doing that. i think we are citing that urgency. one of the things we talked about, the postal service could use some governors. they have none. they could use some predictability. there is work for all of us to do here.
i want to ask a couple questions, maybe mr. allen, if i could, will just ask if the international service centers, how have they changed at each of the national service center. >> in the last year we have increased by 20% in direct response to this threat. prior to that i would say they are stagnant for the past four or five years but we have added 20% additional staff. there is much need to tighten our borders. there's human trafficking in drugs and other illicit activities. we focused a lot on border patrol agents, i think we have 20000 or more.
i'm not sure able to fill that. i've heard for a number of years that border patrol could use people at the border crossing. we focus on the borders were all of this traffic in commercial activity, a lot of it is illegal and illicit. would you comment on that? >> we have, within. [inaudible] the staffing model measures the amount of time and work it takes an officer to perform every task that we are required to do. how long does it take to do a seven-point vehicle inspection and immigration clearance and process a passenger the airport and we look at how often we do it across the country throughout the year.
we want to make sure additional officers show us what we need to perform the duties. we need to take that to heart. i spoke in my opening statement about postal reform and to get the resources we need to make the investments be successful as a business and provide the service that we need. can you tell us what you think the postal service needs, both over the coming weeks and months and in the coming years to be able to properly handle international package volume and facilitate screening efforts? >> the obvious apprehensive
postal reform goes a long way to helping us financially. were notec necessarily waiting, we are expanding the network to be able to handle any volume coming into the country so from our perspective we are doing those things and not waiting for reform. it goes a long way with keeping us on that financial footing and allowing us to invest in it. it's very important to think about the data on the technology and what everyone is talking about and that's where investments should be made to make sure we can zero in on what we are looking for. reform will help us get there. >> any comments you have on this front? i think the only comment i would make is that as they collect this data, we need to keep in mind the quality of the data they really looks to
us that someone is manually inputting this overseas. someone is typing in the addresses. to give you an example, 1735 northland street, there are probably 20 different ways they can do that. they can abbreviate and put periods in their and alternate spelling predator most impossible to match addresses. it takes a tremendously amount of cleanup effort. i think if there's anyway we could require them to structure the data or collected automatically would help tremendously but in the meantime, some effort needs to be made to clean up by someone. we are doing it for analytics but i think there's probably other approaches to do that so we can all share the same data set to do our analytics. >> thank you. >> another one, the mail facility att jfk receives the
bulk of the country's inbound mail from other places. the postal service had its pilot program, jfk using advanced elect tried data that targets suspicious packages at jfk is designed to help us manage the high package volumes while preventing illegal items from entering our country. i trust the postal service understands this role. how do they plan to address our our findings which were release released. >> it will take all of the findings. one of the key for us as i brought up earlier, two things, working
collaboratively to keep getting the percentages, while we had a bumper couple months there were some technical issues. when we looked at the growth, it is significant growth. we expect our collaboration would be significant only higher. one key thing we found in terms of that 20% which is important to us. all the findings will make sure we address every single one of those issues. i'm convinced that you recognize the vital role but your agency plays. same question that i just asked her, how do they plan to address our findings as they pertain to your agency. >> we will continue to work with them on not only ensuring
that the level is going up but that the accuracy and the timeliness of that data so we can be more effective with the data and designing the protocol to make sure every one is presented to us. mr. allen, have your agencies agreed to a performance measure meant system. if yes, explain what you've agreed to and if not, maybe explain why not. >> we are still in those discussions. the issue is the actionable hol hold. when we place a shipment on hold, we expect to see it. if the data was not prior to arrival or done after it
arrived and we have a challenge to retrieve that. the data is presented prior to arrival and the postal service will capture that. it's the gray space that what happens when i comes in late, how do we account for that. the ultimate objective is to have that data, pre-arrival, the targeting done pre-arrival and there's no disagreement that in those cases those shipments would be presented. >> really, the only piece to add onto that are the other developments that we are doing to go beyond, if the timing is off and we have the ability to capture before we get all the way to delivery, that is where the focus is going to be. >> we are definitely in the same terms of agreement and getting to those metrics that we agree on. >> thank you for your continued leadership on this front. it's vitally important. i want to thank our staff that
they have demonstrated. i'd like to bring it into urgency, as the chairman said there's no silver bullet anatomically true. i'd like to say, not just on our front but there's no silver bullet but a lot of silver bbs and a lot of themig are bigger than others. today we have identified others. wein are big on the c. i don't know why but we communicate, compromise,mp collaborate. we need to communicate better and i hope this hearing is helpful in that to better coordinate and find other ways to collaborate. if we do those things we will be better off. this hearing started to have
hours ago. i'm told five people die every hour from this opioid epidemic. that means 12 or 13 people have died since we started. they are somebody's mom or dad , my son or daughter, niece or nephew. thank you so much. >> thank you and thank you for your cooperation and your input on the report. you made it not just bipartisan but nonpartisan and we were able to dig much deeper. thank you. among the exhibits we talked about today was exhibit one, i would like to enter this into the record without objection.
we were talking moment ago about the 20% and that is a concern in terms of customs and border protection having to finally find the data to be able to find the package and then having the package delivered. what is your experience with fedex and ups our report indicates you do not have that in the case. >> was about 100%. they are very effective. what's important to note and remember is that they beneficence 2002 with passage of the trade act that required the operators to provide that a advanced data. i can tell you in those early years as they were ramping up,
they struggled with a lot of the same issues, havinge, everyone provide the data, the data being accurate and timely. i see that as a model we can employ and we are employing. [inaudible] >> i appreciate your confidence i hope this helps to focus on that issue because we also make sure the business data's usual ball. i'm sure you all have done the same thing. they've also had to clean up some data and ensure that once they have the data it's used.
the final thing i want to say about a trip to hong kong, they were meeting with the hong kong customs officials and they talked about a few things i thought were interesting. there had been a bust working with the department of homeland security as well and that was a very successful and the terms that they were able to break up some kind ofd network going between china and hong kong, shipping to the united states. that only been one. i know you will appreciate this. their attitude was don't worry, it's under control. that was the most senior customs official that our staff was able to interview.
finally this electronic data, as important it is to finding this poison, getting it off-track, it's also really important to your prosecution and you can speak to that for a second, the hsi, homeland security inspections, your special agents at facilities like international service centers that we talked about here could beit a lot more effective in their investigations and in dismantling some of these, networks if they had the advanced data. maybe you can speak to that for a second, after border protection makes a seizure, one of these international centers, how does that data assist you. >> thank you for your question. the quicker we get the information the higher probability that we have been
conducting a successful prosecution. it also allows us, as mr. owens stated earlier, it allows us to do a link analysis for posts procedure analysis we might be able to tie the links of the previous historical information that may tie a criminal organization, for example we may have an organization or previous seizure in california and the seizure andit jfk in new york but based on the historical data, we may be able to tie the organization together to develop a larger organization and take down aat larger organization. it also helps us from safety standpoint. before our agents go into a home, it's helpful to know the person that may be inside the residence or business, what type of criminal history do they have. they have weapons, how can we best prepare for the security and safety of them before a law enforcementaw operation. that would be a fit
significant concern that we have in that advance data. >> i think that's also important for us to know, it's not simply about identifying a package and taking it off-line it's about the follow-through. it is critical information to have. thank you for being here. i'm sure we will be following up with some. >> another question, just a comment, if i was, my last year as governor of delaware, one of our close friends, there had been a lawsuit between all 50 states and the tobacco industry. they wanted to get many from the tobacco industry to help
cover healthcare costs states were occurring because of peoples addiction to tobacco, nicotine. the lawsuit was successful. the foundation was created called the truth campaign, the american legacy foundation was created, i was privileged to be founding vice chairman. what we did is we went to work with young people all over the country to figure out if there was a way we could mount a campaign, a multi media campaign, not just films or television or print media but a multimedia campaign to reduce tobacco use by young people.
we saw dramatic drop if we're looking at a multilayered strategy may be part of that is to do a better job of looking at the risks for them and their families. we had some follow-up questions we will be providing. we appreciate your responsiveness in the course of our investigation, we share our report and we appreciate that you made some edits that you thought you were -- that
we've got to do everything we can. senator carpenter talked about all hands on that. this is that time, thispa is that moment where we have to change the way were operating to provide this information to be able to stop and prosecute those who are perpetrating these acts on our surfaces and citizens. we have to do more on the prevention side to get people the treatment they need to stop this addiction.ut all that is important, but here's one thing we know we can do. that is to tighten up our own postal service to be able to stop some of this poison from coming in. one of the reasons fentanyl is pushing out is cost. i am proud of the staff who worked on this report, i want to thank hsi special agent for his work on this, i will tell you i will miss hsi.
his contributions were invaluable. i thank all the staff who were involved and senator carper, i would like you to comment on your team who were involved and then i will comment briefly. >> thank you so much. our team and staff director for subcommittee on the democratic side, sitting right behind me. thank you for the work you've done in the collaboration andat the team we've seen demonstrated. >> i want to thank andy for his work. so i thank them for all their hard work.en it will remain open for 15 days for any additional
trump gets his first essay of the union address. and the stay in the state of the union speech. and comments from members of congress. the state of the union address listen live on the free app. and available live or on demand on the desktop. phone or tablet. republican national committee spokesperson the new american revolution the making of a populist movement. she is interviewed by the senior columnist ready use this word. i'm not a populist.
it sums up what this book is about. i really wanted to honestly profile the people on the left and on the right i did a profile some who were not. to meet it was captioning -- capturing the sentiment to deliver one of the most astonishing electoral defeat. it was a profile of the american people on issues. watch afterwards sunday night at nine eastern. up next kentucky governor gives the state. and updating of the the states in the structure.